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FM 6 & FM Server 5.5 design corruption

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I was involved in updating a legacy FM 6 DB w/ a FM Server 5.5 solution. I believe I was told by FM that you cannot open the files hosted by FM 5.5 w/FM 6 client on the same machine at the same time -- it causes it to crash and creates design corruption; there is usually no data loss.

When the update was deployed we intialized the Mac for the server, did all the Mac OSX updates and installed FM 5.5 along with the latest updaters from FM. The design seemed be stable.

This apperent "no-no" happened once initially about 4-5 weeks after the install and we saw the DB go down and need to be recovered.

When this happened we also re-installed FM 5.5 and we not able to get the updater from the FM website to install correctly. We moved FM 5.5 to another machine (and due to a refusal in the chain of command were not able to re-initialize the new server), re-downloaded the updater and still it would not update FM 5.5.

Since then this "no-no" happened at least once more and the files need to be recovered again.

One issue on the updated DB that occured after the crashes required the scripts to be done in a new way and now seems stable.

Since those incidents a new module, an invoicing system, was added and is totally independant except for some key fields for relating tables and a couple of lookups.

This added module was deployed without serious incident but after several weeks a simple relationship to one of the files in the update (job_number::job_number) for a portal display would no longer work and need to be re-written. Further, script steps that would work form within the file itself would no longer perform correctly when triggered from another file in the new module.

Does anybody know about this FM issue in general and can comment on whether the design corruption in the upgrade could "spread" and cause relationships and scripts to not function correctly in the the new module?

And, of course, how to rectify this continuing issue without upgrading to FM 7 or 8?

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You mention several problems, but it's not very clear what's really going on. I have a couple comments, but maybe others can chime in too.

In order for the FileMaker Server updater to run correctly, the FileMaker Server 5.5 folder must be in the root directory of the hard drive. You can move it afterword, if you wish.

It's not clear what other updates you were running to get the machine up-to-date. In general, I'd recommend staying with a stable version of the operating system, not necessarily the latest version.

It's true that opening a file in the OS with more than one app (or through file sharing) is a common cause of corruption. Unfortunately, this corruption often corrupts the data as well. This is why it's important to turn off OS level file sharing on the host computer (along with any other services), and restrict access to the host computer to qualified staff. It's also very important to keep regular backups (use the built-in backup scheduler, along with regular CD, DVD, tape, or external hard drive archives) and put the machine on a UPS.

Should the system freeze or lose power and the files don't have a chance to close properly, the files should be checked manually. If a file needs to be recovered, it's important to follow the recovery process outlined in FileMaker's Knowledge Base Answer #1580. Although it's written for FM7/8, it applies to FM5/6 as well. The basic idea is to use a clone of a known-good backup, and import the data from the recovered file.

In general, corruption won't spread to other files, but it's important to root out any corruption once you suspect something, so that the data doesn't get lost and a recent backup of the file can be located to replace the corrupt structure.

It's hard to say if your relationship and script problems are indeed corruption without seeing it. Sometimes things don't work just because of a type mismatch or a syntax error.

hope that helps.

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see my post here:


1. corruption does not "spread"

2. diagnosing corruption is a trial & error process

3. recover is not a repair tool, and very often is of no help

4. the fact that you've already crashed & recovered twice is not a good sign

you say "a simple relationship ... would no longer work and need to be re-written AND

script steps that would work from within the file itself would no longer perform correctly when triggered from another file"

unfortunately, as Ender replied, this can have many causes, and might not even be file corruption. It is a guessing game


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